We will experience some January cold here in the next few days. It will be cold but I will call it kind of cold because it can get a lot colder. We
should hit -10 over the weekend. We can get temperatures in the -20 to -35 range in late January.
Before buying a house it is a good idea to find out how much it costs to heat. St. Paul homeowners can get some averages by calling Xcel energy customer service, or by looking at their billing and usage history online.
It is also helpful to find out how many people are living in the house. A household with one or two people will generally use less energy than a household with four or more people.
The efficiency of the furnace or boiler makes a difference and so do windows and the amount of insulation in the attic. New windows might reduce heating costs but it takes a long time to save enough in energy bills to pay for them.
Look for energy star ratings on appliances. We had an old dehumidifier that was a real energy hog.
Using less electricity can be a matter of turning off lights or maybe using some timers. Use energy-efficient light bulbs and motion detector switches in basements and outdoors.
The City of Minneapolis now requires a Truth in Energy report to go along with the truth in housing reports that homeowners need to have before they sell their house. Homeowners will not be required to make repairs.
St. Paul home buyers should talk to their home inspector about the condition of the heating plant and how the home uses energy.
Here are some energy-saving tips I found on the Xcel Energy website.